"He's a two-time all-state player in basketball and we're two-time state champions in basketball," Skyview Head Coach David Young told Scout.com Thursday. "He's had quicker success in basketball, but he's also been a two-year starter for us in football. The football stuff has been coming around for him slowly, but surely."
Verbal offers from Colorado and Idaho State and heavy interest from Boise State and Utah had been out there as early as when Matt participated in the Idaho High School Football combine in May. CU brought a coach out to that combine specifically to watch Ballenger and gave new CU Head Coach Hawkins the thumbs-up. A written offer soon showed up for Ballenger and the Ballengers reciprocated by taking a visit to Boulder on their own dime during Matt's spring break.
"Ever since (Dan) Hawkins as at BSU (Boise State), he was high on Matt since his sophomore year," Young said. "To go to Colorado and still regard Matt as a Big-12 quarterback, that speaks highly of what Hawkins thought about him."
And what does Young think of Ballenger? "He runs a solid 4.9 (40)," said Young. "He may look slow, but when he plays he's outrunning people. Because of his long stride, it's a little deceiving. His leadership, that's all come with his maturity. A lot of it is by example, but the guy is just a competitor. When the game is on the line, he wants the ball.
"At our district title game at Kuna, the student body put up a sign poking fun at him. In the second quarter, he went for 30, totally dismantled him. We went up to Sandpoint last year for a playoff game and it was snowing and raining and we were covered with mud from head to toe. And we threw the ball 30 times and Matt had a great game. He stepped up to the pressure. He is a competitor."